I come from an Asian country where various spices are utilized in every dish to enhance the taste of ingredients. Finnish cuisine is a whole new level to me because Finnish cuisine values the original taste of ingredients so usually it requires very few spices.
Finland is the highest coffee consumption in the world per capita with a population of only 5.5 million people, which is impressive. I remember having my very first Finnish coffee when I flew with Finnair. I was surprised because the taste is totally different from what I always had in Vietnam. Finnish coffee beans are Arabica, which makes it less strong and somehow bitter than those I tried back home. I’m not a coffee drinker but ever since I came to Finland, I drink more often thanks to the coffee break culture here. Finnish coffee can be combined with sugar, milk or cream, not condensed milk like in Vietnam.
Most of Finnish dishes I’ve tried were at the school’s canteen. For such a relatively low price for students, you can have salad, one cup of water and one cup of optional beverage (milk, nut milk, homemade brew, mixed juice), 2 slices of bread, various types of warm dish. I was amazed by how balanced and nutritious school meal in Finland. Furthermore, canteen also has international week such as Mexican day, Indian week or even Favorite dishes week where the top 5 dishes voted by students will be served the whole week!
Another Finnish favorite delicacy of mine is fish (again). The thought of having fried muikku under the sun in a local flea market with friends has never failed to excite me. To me, muikku reminds me of those summer well-spent days in the warmth of sunshine with my friends in Finland. Fried muikku (Coregonus albula, vendance) is a typical dish in Finland. The fish bone is soft enough to eat. The fish is dipped into a mixture of rye, flour, salt and pepper and then deep-fry. It is usually served with garlic sauce. A simple delicacy yet very Finnish!
If you are a sweet-tooth like me, then Finnish pastry surely won’t let you down. Dallaspulla, korvapuusti (cinnamon roll, slapped ears), joulutorttu, omenapiirakka (Finnish apple pie), etc. It’s hard to tell which one is the most delicious because I like them all. I love how Finland has special cake for specific occasion so I can always have excuse to satisfy my tummy!
Can you find your favorite Finnish dish in this post?
Ha Minh Thuy